Triple Crown, housing and water issues on council agenda |

Triple Crown, housing and water issues on council agenda

Larry Propp holds his granddaughter Brianna Long while having lunch on the patio of Winona's Restaurant & Bakery, Monday afternoon on Lincoln Avenue. Brianna's mom Erin and grandmother Pam Propp, right, also enjoyed the sun. Tonight, the Steamboat Springs City Council will set a hearing date for a petition to establish a special tax district to fund marketing and improvements in downtown Steamboat.
John F. Russell

If you go

What: Steamboat Springs City Council meeting

When: 5 p.m. today

Where: Centennial Hall, 124 10th St.

Call: City offices at 879-2060 for more information


4 p.m.

- Open house hosted by the Watershed Protection Ordinance Committee. Maps of areas included in the ordinance will be on display.

- City Council convenes in executive, or secret, session to discuss the possible acquisition of real estate for affordable housing.

5 p.m.

- City Council reports, including updates on the Yampa Valley Airport Commission and Economic Development Council.

- City staff and community reports, including a presentation of findings about a Northwest Colorado Sports Complex and the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association's 2007 Summer Marketing Plan.

- Green Team update on staffing needs, including a request for a full-time sustainability coordinator.

- Resolution about a proposed Business Improvement District downtown.

- First reading of ordinances, including proposed protections for the city's watershed and revisions to the city's affordable housing policies.

- Second reading of an ordinance approving a financial settlement between the city and Mount Werner Water and Sanitation District.

7 p.m.

- Public comment

- Community housing plan for Steamboat Barn Village, near Yampa Valley Medical Center at Pine Grove Road and Central Park Drive.

— City officials tonight will discuss whether a regional sports complex would be a home run in Hayden.

A study about the financial impacts of summer tournaments hosted by Triple Crown Sports – which bring about 32,000 visitors and $1.19 million in tax revenues to Northwest Colorado each summer, according to Denver consultants Corona Research, Inc. – is one of many items on a packed agenda for the Steamboat Springs City Council. The council meets at 5 p.m. at Centennial Hall on 10th Street. Other scheduled issues include affordable housing, watershed protection, staffing for the city’s Green Team, a downtown tax district and the housing plan for a new subdivision near Yampa Valley Medical Center.

Corona staff presented their findings about Triple Crown to the Routt County Board of Commissioners and Hayden town officials last month. The findings state that losing Triple Crown would cost Northwest Colorado governments more than $43 million in tax revenues during the next 25 years. But expanding the tournaments would anger some residents who already cite excessive traffic and noise concerns caused by the influx of summer visitors.

“This is a regional issue that’s about much more than just Hayden,” City Council President Susan Dellinger said Monday. “I’ve slotted an hour and a half for (the presentation).”

Dellinger and City Councilman Paul Strong both said Monday that a wider variety of summer events is needed.

“My preference would be if we got a larger mix that is not just Triple Crown,” Dellinger said. “I feel like we have all of our eggs in one basket at the moment.”

Strong said he thinks the biggest issue on tonight’s City Council agenda is the continued discussion of revisions to the city’s inclusionary zoning ordinance, which regulates how the city provides affordable housing for low- to middle-income residents.

The council tabled first readings of the ordinance during its April 17 and May 1 meetings.

“We’ve been working on this ordinance for seven months now – it needs to come to conclusion,” Strong said.

An ordinance that could be nearer to conclusion is a proposed watershed protection plan, intended to protect Steamboat’s water supply by increasing regulations for rural landowners and ranchers.

The ordinance drew strong public opposition when first proposed in December, leading the City Council to appoint a committee to address concerns and improve the ordinance. Led by City Manager Alan Lanning and with help from Boulder water attorney Glenn Porzak, the committee changed the ordinance to broaden activities exempted from further regulation. They also clarified activities that would require a city-issued permit. The committee will host an open house at Centennial Hall before tonight’s council meeting.

“I think Alan did a great job with that committee,” Dellinger said. “They put all the pieces in that they wanted.”

Strong agreed that the changes seem to have mollified most rural landowners.

“There seems to be general comfort with the revised ordinance,” he said. “We’ll find out (tonight).”

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